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STX Animal Welfare Center Contract

(@Phizz)
Posts: 164
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

**PRESS RELEASE REGARDING SCAWC ANIMAL CONTROL CONTRACT**

Effective on August 7th, 2016, the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center’s (SCAWC) contract with the Government of the Virgin Islands for Animal Control duties on the island of St. Croix expired.

Under the contract, the SCAWC was responsible for providing suitable housing for all animals, particularly stray and homeless dogs; the capture and impoundment of animals running at large, appointing qualified animal control officers, quarantining bite cases, investigation of cruelty, issuing of dog licenses, adoption of homeless pets and a humane education program, among other duties. The 2015 contract allocated only one quarter of the projected cost to carry out these duties.

In a meeting on St. Thomas early this year, the SCAWC clearly expressed the inability to perform the duties outlined in the contract for the payment allocated. A detailed cost estimate for the scope of work for stray animals only (not including owner surrendered animals that make up approximately ½ of the shelter’s intake) assuming a 44% lifesaving rate was $485,000. A small portion of the requested funds was to improve and expand existing enclosures that are currently unsafe for holding dangerous dogs. Safe holding areas are particularly critical as the VIPD has just assigned a full time detective to investigate cases of animal cruelty and neglect. Additional issues with the contract include the absence of animal wardens, who under the department of agriculture, would be authorized to enforce existing laws relating to animal regulation and rabies control and the humane education program, which prior to 2015 was funded entirely by a private donor.

The SCAWC is a private, non-profit organization that depends on donations to cover the majority of operational costs. In many ways the animal control contract, with the current allocated funds, conflicts with the center’s mission, as the contract requires the center to house all stray but fails to provide the financial support for a live outcome for impounded animals. SCAWC is uncomfortable asking donors to subsidize what should be a government responsibility. Over the past 12 months the SCAWC has doubled its lifesaving rate, has offered free and low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary care and continues to expand this program as well as plans to open a second flea market on the west end of the island.

The Department of Agriculture is currently withholding monies owed to the SCAWC for work already completed, because a new contract has yet to be signed. The SCAWC is attempting to remedy the discrepancy by offering the government a limited scope contract with reasonable duties in exchange for allocated funds or pressing for a substantial increase in funding.

As the only animal shelter on the island of St. Croix, the SCAWC’s activities are critical and reach far beyond the scope of animal welfare. Abundance of stray animals negatively effects tourism, and poses a risk to human health and safety. Furthermore, violence towards animals has been well established as an indicator of future violence towards humans.

Effective immediately, the SCAWC no longer will pick up stray animals, nor perform most other animal control duties for the island of St. Croix. All requests for assistance in this regard should be directed to the VI Department of Agriculture at 778-0997. The low-cost veterinary clinic (including the feral cat program) and adoption center will remain open.
**The SCAWC looks forward to a speedy resolution of these issues.**

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 7:42 pm
(@Phizz)
Posts: 164
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Email your senator!

BLYDEN, MARVIN A.______________774-0880/E-mail mblyden@legvi.org
FORDE, JEAN____________________774-0880/ E-mail jforde@legvi.org
FRANCIS, NOVELLE E. JR___________774-0880/E-mail nfrancis@legvi.org
GITTENS, KENNETH_____________774-0880/ E-mail senatorklgittens@gmail.com
GRAHAM, CLIFFORD______________774-0880/E-mail cgraham@legvi.org
HARRIGAN, JUSTIN SR_____________774-0880/E-mail jharrigan@legvi.org
JACKSON, MYRON D.______________774-0880/ E-mail mjackson@legvi.org
JAMES, NEVILLE___________________774-0880/E-mail njames@legvi.org
LIBURD, ALMANDO________________774-0880
NELSON, TERRENCE______________774-0880/E-mail positivetimez@gmail.com
NEREIDA RIVERA___________________774-0880/E-mail teamnellie@gmail.com
ROACH, TREGENZA A. _______________774-0880/Email troach@legvi.com
SANES, SAMMUEL________________774-0880/ Email sammuelsanes@yahoo.com
VIALET, KURT_______________________774-0880 / E-mail kvialet@legvi.org
YOUNG, JANETTE MILLIN_____________774-0880/E-mail jmyoung@legvi.org

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 7:48 pm
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

Not clear what you want senators to do. Limited scope or increase funding? What does limited scope entail?

The VI can't pay WAPA or GERS. There are so many people in line waiting to be paid. This is just one of the many.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 8:51 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Posts: 2534
Famed Member
 

Streets and beaches and towns are being cleaned by volunteers now and it does not cost the government a dime.

It's obvious that they expect the community to step up to the plate and fund the shelter.

I wonder what functions they will expect the community to take over next?

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 9:00 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Posts: 2473
Noble Member
 

Don't you just love BIG, USELESS Government?

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 9:08 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

Maybe, everyone should call the Commissioner of Agriculture and complain as well as contact the Senators. It's an election year so that
may get their behinds in gear.

We pay taxes, yet get very little basic services for our tax dollars.
Didn't our senators get $150K slush fund money to use for their favorite charities? Well, that money could help finance the shelters in all 3 islands.

This is not the first time the government has owed money to shelters, here and on STX. It's not the first time they've been late paying for services provided and the funding has always been too little to maintain the services. They are woefully underfunded.

Unless you make noise, complain and demand they do something,
They won't.

Squeaky wheels get the grease.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 9:41 pm
(@LiquidFluoride)
Posts: 1937
Noble Member
 

Streets and beaches and towns are being cleaned by volunteers now and it does not cost the government a dime.

It's obvious that they expect the community to step up to the plate and fund the shelter.

I wonder what functions they will expect the community to take over next?

the community has been stepping up to the plate for a couple years of short budget..

While I was attending board meetings this action was discussed several times, but it's a hard one to do.

however, services don't get done for free, and the great workers at the stxAWC still gotta eat and pay bills..

which service to you cut first?

well since this one has already been underfunded for years, i guess we have our winner.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 9:43 pm
(@vicanuck)
Posts: 2935
Famed Member
 

Start dropping off all the strays at the Department of Agriculture.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 9:47 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

I've always found Dr. Bethany Bradford, the Agriculture Department veterinarian based on STX to be very helpful. I'm going to call her in Monday and see if she can help or has any suggestions.

Meanwhile, it may be a good idea for ALL of us to copy and paste the announcement in an email, addressed to all the Senators and ask them what they propose to do about this issue, remind them it's an election year and as constituents we will be awaiting the actions by them to resolve this dilemma, help the shelters and our island's animals. They seem to be able to find money, they don't have, to spend everywhere else.

Do our Senators have Facebook pages?

Thank you, Phizz, for providing the contact info.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 11:02 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

Any email address for Liburd?

It seems some of the email addresses are invalid.
The only ones that worked for me were the ones for Nellie, Blyden, Gittens.
Here's my letter to the Senators I was able to email.
I'm going to copy and send to the Daily News.

Dear Senators,

Please see the below Press Release.

This is a deplorable situation.
Our island's shelters provide necessary services to help our huge population of unwanted, abandoned and mistreated animals, daily.
They are at overflowing capacity and require more funding than the pittance allotted.

We pay our taxes and get very little basic services in return.
Please advise what can be done to remedy this appalling situation as with it being an election year, I'm sure many of your animal loving, taxpaying constituents will be waiting to see a resolution in this urgent matter.

It may be a good idea to address creating a mandatory Spay and Neuter Law, at least for a 5 year minimum period, to get our animal population under control.

Please visit the shelters on your respective islands, speak with the hardworking people that dedicate themselves to helping our animals and see for yourselves the dire situations they face, daily.

Yes, I realize that the VI Government is in financial distress but money seems to be found to spend on all other sorts of non essential things. I'm sure you can find a way to not only pay but increase the amount necessary to continue to help and improve our animal shelters on all 3 islands.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this most urgent matter.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 11:10 pm
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

Where would the senate money come from? Their own budgets? Their own pockets?

Were funds in the budget but not paid to the contractor? The OP said the contract only covered 1/4 of the expenses so it would seem somebody other than the government was expected to fund the remainder. Why would the Animal Center agree to a contract that wasn't at least break even for them?

The VI cannot afford the government it thinks it should have. Everybody needs to face it.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 11:13 pm
(@Spartygrad95)
Posts: 1885
Noble Member
 

Where would the senate money come from? Their own budgets? Their own pockets?

Were funds in the budget but not paid to the contractor? The OP said the contract only covered 1/4 of the expenses so it would seem somebody other than the government was expected to fund the remainder. Why would the Animal Center agree to a contract that wasn't at least break even for them?

The VI cannot afford the government it thinks it should have. Everybody needs to face it.

Agreed. Everyone whines about how we need to cut spending but when funding is cut for things it's "you can't cut this, you can't cut that"

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 11:32 pm
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

They find money to spend and waste on all kinds of crap.
They can find the funds to pay for the shelters.
Stop complaining and contact them.

 
Posted : August 12, 2016 11:52 pm
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

They find money to spend and waste on all kinds of crap.
They can find the funds to pay for the shelters.
Stop complaining and contact them.

Nope.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 8:03 am
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

Nope what?

Nope, they don't find money to spend and waste?
Nope, they won't find money for the shelters.
Nope, you won't stop complaining and contact your senators to help our island's shelters and animals?

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 9:46 am
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

Nope, I won't contact them.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 9:52 am
(@Phizz)
Posts: 164
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

The original announcement that I posted was cut and pasted from a news release from the STXAWC.

If anyone has more current email addresses for the senators, please post and I will update my database.

Perhaps no one remembers the stray animal situation of 25-30 years ago, before the Shelter was fully operational. Dead animals on the side of the road, litters of puppies abandoned at every dumpster and on every beach. Hungry strays roaming the streets.
Over the intervening years the situation has been so much improved thanks to the Shelter providing amazing services to STX.

A return to the previous 3rd world situation is certainly not appealing for an island hoping to promote tourism. If simple compassion for living beings doesn't animate your interest, perhaps economics might.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 10:24 am
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

I am not animated to contact the senators because I don't have enough info to make an informed decision. Note my questions in a previous post. And, I don't have the time to try to get the answers on my own.

Have they tried crowdfinding?

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 10:52 am
(@stx-em)
Posts: 862
Prominent Member
 

I am not animated to contact the senators because I don't have enough info to make an informed decision. Note my questions in a previous post. And, I don't have the time to try to get the answers on my own.

Have they tried crowdfinding?

Yes. There has been a gofundme that has supported many of the low-cost health clinic/spay neuter activities and equipment.

The issue is that the VI Government entered into a contract with the animal Shelter giving them funds to conduct animal control. The shelter performed these services, the government is with-holding payment for services already rendered because the animal shelter has issues with the new contract (valid issues described in the press release) And has not signed a new contract. They've been jerked around like this for years and have decided to take a stand against it--if they don't, this behavior by the gov will continue to occur. Sometimes it takes difficult decisions like this one to effect a larger change.

Please support them in taking this stand, put pressure on the gov to do the right thing and fund the animal control portion of the shelter adequately.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 11:16 am
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

What's there to be informed of?
That the new Agriculture Commissioner is withholding money for work already performed?
That all of our shelters exist on a shoestring budget?
That shelters on all 3 islands are filled to overflowing capacity?
That our animal shelters are unnecessary and don't perform a much needed service?
That making the effort to help improve the situation isn't worth your time or effort?
That our island's unwanted, mistreated and abandoned animals don't deserve more?
Sounds like BS to me.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 11:18 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Posts: 2534
Famed Member
 

Start dropping off all the strays at the Department of Agriculture.

(tu)(tu)

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 11:30 am
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

If someone isn't sufficiently motivated to a cause about which you're passionate, accept that and move on without berating them.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 11:34 am
(@Spartygrad95)
Posts: 1885
Noble Member
 

I wonder how long one must bite their tongue before it bleeds

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 11:43 am
(@islandjoan)
Posts: 1798
Noble Member
 

On STX there are a couple private organizations as well as several individuals who work tirelessly to help with the strays and abandoned animals. As well as the vets. All of these people spend lots of their own money and also use Facebook and gofundme to raise money and find homes for these animals. Without the animal shelter in operation even more of the burden will fall on them.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 12:09 pm
(@ms411)
Posts: 3554
Famed Member
 

Thanks for answering my questions, stxem. But, now that I've been accused of bsing, I feel like I am being intimidated.

The VI government screws everybody. That's why I have a t-shirt that says so.

 
Posted : August 13, 2016 12:40 pm
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